Nepal’s Madheshi leader’s assessment: China wants to talk economics rather than politics


Kathmandu, March 28

While Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli was visiting China, JP Gupta, coordinator of the Tarai-Madhesh National Campaign, was doing the same with journalists Yuvaraj Ghimire, Kishore Shrestha and Bishnu Rijal, Maoist leader from Netra Bikram Chand Biplav’s party, Anil Sharma Birahi, and Devraj Ghimire from the CPN-UML, the party with Oli as president.

Interestingly, there was no talk about Madhesh and the Madhesh movement, who were in China at the invitation of China Foundation for Peace and Development, during the visit of Gupta and co. According to Gupta, during their visit to China, a Chinese economist and an intellectual each delivered an hour-long lecture on Chinese agriculture policy and Chinese ethnic policy, respectively, at Sichuan University’s South Asia Study Centre. Gupta and other members of his entourage had received the China invite not as political leaders but as analysts.

“I neither had one-to-one meeting, nor political talks on schedule. So, there was no discussion on Madhesh and the Madhesh movement during this visit,” Gupta said.

Gupta told Onlinekhabar: China has accepted ‘special’ relations between Nepal and India. I found that China sees all three countries — Nepal, China and India — together.

Nepal and China coming together is not enough because without India on board, China’s economic benefits will lessen, Gupta said, adding: While talking about Nepal matters, China always has its eyes on India.

China wants peace in South Asia, it wants economic development agendas put on priority rather than political agendas, Gupta said.

Asked if he had talks with the Chinese side about Madhesh, Gupta said: No political meetings and one-to-one talks were on schedule. So, there was no talk of Madhesh and Madhesh movement during this visit.

After leaving for China, I came to know that United Democratic Madheshi Front had submitted a memorandum to the Chinese ambassador, Gupta said. “With the introduction of the new constitution in Nepal, the Chinese side was hopeful that economic development agendas will get priority,” Gupta said.

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